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Syd Barrett - Under Review
Syd Barrett - Under Review
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
NR     2006     1hr 0min

Syd Barrett - Under Review features rare live and studio performances from this hugely influential and legendary musician, interspersed with the independent review and criticism from a panel of esteemed experts. These inc...  more »


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Movie Details

Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Sub-Genres: Pop, Rock & Roll
Studio: Video Music, Inc.
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 02/21/2006
Original Release Date: 01/01/1960
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1960
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 0min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Yes I'm Thinking...
Kyle A. Hamilton | Traverse City, Michigan | 04/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Is this DVD any good? Is there any new Syd Barrett news? Is it another re-hash? Yes on all counts. If you are at Amazon reading this review, then buy the DVD. If you are enough of a fan to get this far, you should own Under Review. If you are a Floyd fan just getting to know Syd's work, then you should also buy this DVD. Syd was much more than a founder of Floyd. A history lesson will only deepen your appreciation of the band. This is a good companion to the previous DVD release, but much more objective. Of special value is the timeline of his story. You get a better sense of how Syd and his music changed over the short period of time he was musically productive. You get perspective on just how precarious things were as early as Arnold Lane. You also get perspective on how functional he was as late as Barrett. The clips are historic and the analysis is pretty solid. In my humble opinion, there was never anything on Earth like Syd's music. It irresistibly pulls you in to a foreign place that you've always been."
Kerry Leimer | Makawao, Hawaii United States | 11/23/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This DVD is a slightly above average look at Syd's work, with some genuine insight provided by Chris Welch and others. Especially interesting are Hugh Hopper's recollections of recording sessions for "The Madcap Laughs" and his descriptions of the music are the most thoughtful and worthwhile -- if for no other reason than we get to see the reaction of a genuine musician to the work of an artist using music. His comments and those of a few others directly affected by Barrett's work add some first- and second-hand accounts which are sorely lacking from the typical voice-over documentaries designed to do little more than feed off of the fan base (kinda sorta like this very DVD?). That said, this short documentary is also a good complement to the books "Random Precision" and "Madcap" by Tim Willis, and better and somewhat more thoughtful than the shorter still "The Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett Story" DVD.

While all these sources tend to speculate on what went wrong, not a single one mentions what might also be a contributing reason for Syd's disappearance -- his general lack of interest in the commercial aspects of the music business. Referred to indirectly as "pressure" it's really more about deadlines like "Pink Floyd needs a follow-up single" and "Pink Floyd needs an American Tour", all of which translate as "Harvest Needs More Revenue" in the universal language of money. It's worth rehashing all the pre-existing mental states, the drugs, but all these factors seem exacerbated by the siren call of commerce which Syd either can't or won't acknowledge. Perhaps this point can't be discussed in public given the business demands of the music industry are treated as sacrosanct. Best example: funny how we continue to think of these individuals as artists while to the industry they must surely be little more than "industrial workers". But also given the tenor and tone of much of Syd's work and the broader context of the summer of love, addressing the corrupting commercial element and its profoundly negative effect on any number of artists needs to be addressed with greater frankness -- here and elsewhere.

But for those who have followed and made a study of Syd's short career the real value here resides in some rare footage that also offers good sound quality. To take matters back into the world of commerce, for the money, this is a decent enough addition to the Barrett canon. But the work and the life still deserve more."
Has some good information about Syd Barrett but seems to be
A. Lathrop | Pennsylvania | 06/07/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This "Ultimate Review and Critical Analysis" of Syd Barrett has some interesting moments and seems to have heart-felt genuine praise and critical analysis from the persons interviewed in this documentary, but seems to fall short of grasping the listener's attention. I was expecting to see more about the formation of the band and many more reviews of the songs he wrote. For example, the only two songs they review from Pink Floyd's debut album "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn", are "Bike" and "Interstellar Overdrive", when actually the eleven songs contained on that record were written mostly by Syd and also deserve some mention as well. There is some good mention about his first two solo albums "The Madcap Laughs" and "Barrett", but once again, only several songs are reviewed, rather than focusing on each album as an entity.

It is interesting to note the disclaimer on the back of the dvd sleeve, stating that "the opinions on this dvd are completely independent" and that the dvd "is not authorized by Syd Barrett or members of his family, his legal or personal representatives, Pink Floyd or any of its members" and so on. With that being said, yes, the six or seven critics presented in this documentary do give the listener a good idea of who Syd Barrett is and let one appreciate his contributions, both within Pink Floyd and as a solo artist, but I found the reviews to be one-dimensional, in that they just review only a handful of his songs and drag out their discussions about them. What appears to be lacking here is a well-rounded representation of both his greatness as a very unique and gifted artist, but also a major hindrance to both Pink Floyd and even to his own solo career. I was hoping, for example, that some footage of Syd spacing-out while the band was performing live might help to drive home the fact of why Syd was drifting away from the band, rather than just mentioning a few words about that subject.

Ultimately, I feel this dvd drags on way too long and quite honestly, I felt it was somewhat boring, not because Syd only contributed one full album and several singles with Pink Floyd and two official solo studio albums and other recordings released years later, but because the critics spend too much time over-analyzing a few worthy points and neglecting to really capture the listener's imagination overall. There is a good element of truth here in this dvd I feel is worthy of mention; the critics do seem to know a lot of information about him and what they say about him seems to set the record straight about some common misconceptions about Syd. For example, after apparently interviewing many persons close to him, he was not strung out on drugs the entire time of 1967, but less times than one can count on both hands. It is also suggested that he may have had mental issues prior to his extensive drug use, but that the drugs may have accentuated his mental illness. I don't want to persuade people from purchasing this dvd, but more to be aware that one may not get entirely what they are hoping for in the 66 minutes contained within."
Aaah yes...the "Under Review" series
Carlos | NJ | 08/11/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)

"There seems to be a cottage industry now of these "unofficial independent critical review" DVD's. Seems like an easy way to make a buck: grab some live footage of a band from European TV, make sure to only play a snippet of each song lest you wind up getting sued and then interview a bunch of no-name rock journalists and "friends" who evidently have little or no knowledge of the artists being profiled. With all that said, this Syd Barrett entry bucks the trend by being reasonably entertaining and informative as well as actually having vintage clips of Syd and Pink Floyd (some even lasting more than 30 seconds!). I was also surprised to hear the actual released recordings of familiar Pink Floyd songs. Apparantly someone somewhere went the extra mile and secured the rights to these songs for this DVD.
There's another DVD available called "The Syd Barret And Pink Floyd Story" which is much better than this (as it has the blessings of Pink Floyd) but this DVD delves deeper into Syd's solo career. Of all the cheapo "Under Review/Rock Milestones/Independent Critical Blah Blah" DVD's out there, this one at least had a little time and effort spent on it."